Any list of Europe’s most beautiful places that wants some geographic variety is almost certain to include somewhere from Slovenia, and nine times out of ten that place will be Lake Bled. To its credit, CNN Travel has chosen to highlight another of the country’s increasingly less hidden gems, Lake Bohinji, although can’t resist a passing mention of the home of kremšnita:
Lake Bohinj is often disregarded in favor of the more popular Lake Bled.
But Slovenia's largest lake, set within the majestic Triglav National Park, is arguably just as spectacular.
Visitors can hire a bike or walk along the trails running around the lake to the impressive Savica waterfall or charming village Stara Fuzina.
Meanwhile, mountaineers have the option to strike out for the summit of Triglav if the weather is good.
Other places on the list include the Lofoten Islands (Norway), Shetland Isles (Scotland), Yorkshire Dales (England), Loire Valley (France), the Bavarian Forest National Park (Germany) and Barmouth (Wales).
While a number of airlines have announced new or increased services to fill the gaps created by the collapse of Adria Airways, no company has yet stepped in to serve the Ljubljana to Vienna route, with Austrian Airlines announcing that it has no intentions to do so, only serving the Slovene market via Klagenfurt. In an official statement, the company said: “Austrian Airlines will offer its passengers up to three daily connections from Vienna to Klagenfurt as an alternative to the termination of Adria Airways flight operations to Ljubljana.”
All our stories on Adria are here
Ana Monro, the highly acclaimed street theatre group that as founded in 1981 and is behind such annual events as Ana Desetnica, Ana Mraz, and Ana Plamenita, will putting on its last performance of its interactive street theatre show Ljubljana Stories this Friday, 4 October (2019) at 19:00. The experience will take you through the Old Town, and specifically the street that runs through it, aka Gornji trg. The show is being promoted as follows:
Guaranteeing a different experience of Ljubljana, Ljubljana Stories is an unforgettable journey, a funny and educational interactive walk through more than 500 years of the Gornji trg’s rich history, an exclusive tour of the parts of the old town that are usually neglected by tour guides, and a unique experience of theatre art in the public space.
Ljubljana Stories will take you for an interactive walk – not your ordinary walk, mind you. The show is based on real places and the history of the city while presenting a brand new view of the past. Are you interest in what it was like to live in fascist-occupied Ljubljana or the Illyrian Provinces? Would you like to experience a fatal earthquake, what it’s like to be a beggar, get to know and feel the modern spirit of the city, fall in love, and/or dance with the Water Man? If so – welcome to our street theatre time-travel adventure!
In town and want to see what' on in Ljubljana this week? Check here
Yesterday it was Brussels Airlines and Wizz Air, and today four other carriers have announced moves to fill the gaps in the market created by Adria Airways' bankruptcy, Lufthansa CityLine, Swiss International Air Lines, Aire Servia and Montenegro Airlines.
Lufthansa plans to run two flights a day from Frankfurt to Ljubljana starting 27 October, with more details here, while the carrier will launch a new daily service from Munich on November 1, with more information here. Swiss International Air Lines will begin a five flights a week service between Zurich and Ljubljana on October 16, becoming daily on October 27, with details here.
Air Serbia is adding a a new - and third - daily flight between Ljublajan and Belgrade for the winter schedule, with the service enabling connection with the carriers flights from belgrade to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Rome, Mila, Prage, Podgorica, Stuttgart, Vienna and Zurich.
Finally, Montenegro Airlines is now offering discount fares to Adria Airways ticketholders for selected flights, with €60 getting you a one-way flight from Ljubljana to Podgorica, or from Ljubljana to Belgrade via Podgorica. The price includes 23kg of checked-in luggage, and the offer also extends to other destination the airline covers, although the cost for these routes is €90.
All our stories on Adria are here
Updated: 18:45 1 Oct. 2019
STA, 1 October 2019 - The Belgian air carrier Brussels Airlines, part of Lufthansa Group, announced it would restore its Brussels-Ljubljana route a day after Slovenian carrier Adria Airways filed for receivership. Travel agency Nomago also decided to organise several charter flights to mitigate the effects of Adria collapse on conference tourism.
Brussels Airlines, which had flown to Ljubljana a decade ago, announced six flights a week on its website today. Tickets should be available for sale as of Wednesday, while the first flights are scheduled for 4 November.
Brussels Airlines is to connect the Slovenian capital with Brussels every day a week except Saturday. Flights from Brussels are scheduled for 3:30pm and return flights for 5:55pm.
The Belgian air carrier is the first to introduce new flights to Ljubljana airport after Adria's collapse.
Adria's routes will also be partly covered by the Hungarian low-budget carrier WizzAir, which cancelled its Ljubljana-Brussels link for the 2019/2020 winter season but will restore it as of 31 March 2020.
Meanwhile, Nomago said today it was in contact with Ljubljana hotels, and all major tourism organisations and institutions hosting international events. It assured them it can expand its operations to provide for the transport of passengers through its InterCity bus service but also with additional charter flights.
According to Nomago executive director for tourism and mobility services Marjan Beltram, the network of the Nomago IntercIty services may be expanded within a month or two if necessary.
Nomago, which has the largest market share in plane ticket sales in Slovenia, has already arranged alternative connections from near-by airports for its passengers.
The receivership of Adria, which used to transport about half of all Ljubljana airport passengers, opens opportunities for other air carriers as well.
The most attractive appear to be the routes to Frankfurt, Munich, Zurich and Vienna. Two other Lufthansa subsidiaries, Austrian Airlines and Swiss International Airlines, are said to be interested in them as well.
Ljubljana airport operator Fraport Slovenija is in intensive talks with other air carriers as well and is hoping to replace the key connections soon. A comparable network of flights is to be set up in a year and a half, Fraport Slovenija said today.
Out of the 27 regular flights, 11 have been lost with the grounding of Adria's planes, of which five are crucial for Slovenia's connectivity with the world, said Janez Krašnja, the head of airline services.
According to Fraport Slovenija COO Zmago Skobir, these are connections with Brussels, Frankfurt, Vienna, Munich and Zurich. He expects them to be restored by the end of the year.
Asked whether founding a new national carrier would make sense in the current situation, Skobir said he could not comment. "I can only say that there is demand for the destinations that have been cancelled and that we have first signals that they will be replaced," he said.
Several companies already flying to Ljubljana are also increasing the number of flights to the Slovenian capital to make out for the fallout from Adria cancellations. Air France increased them from six to 13 a week, and will be using a larger aircraft to adjust to the number of passengers.
LOT Polish Airlines has raised the number of its flights from seven to eight a week and has recently been flying to Ljubljana with a larger plane, Boeing B737.
Air Serbia added Niš to the list of its routes in the summer, and adjusted to the number of passengers on the Ljubljana-Belgrade route with larger planes.
Montenegro Airlines will increase the number of its flights from four to five a week, while Russia's
Aeroflot has been using larger planes.
Turkish Airlines has made no changes yet but said it would secure larger aircraft if necessary.
A solution has however not been found yet for lights to Balkan cities. Fraport Slovenije is particularly working on setting up a connection with Skopje, which is an important business destination.
Fraport expects the airport to see 100,000-200,000 fewer passengers this year because of Adria's collapse, expecting the annual figure to stand between 1.5 and 1.7 million. But the airport still expects to end the year in the black.
Fraport Slovenija has more than EUR 4 million in claims to Adria, a part of which has been secured.
The Slovenian national postal operator Pošta Slovenije said today it had switched from Adria to other air lines and partly to Zagreb airport, while the mail for neighbouring countries and Germany was being transported by road.
Adria's collapse will be discussed by the coalition later this afternoon. Officials are expected to talk about potential steps the state can take in the aftermath of Adria's receivership.
One option is for the state to subsidise new routes and the other is to set up a new air carrier. Parties are divided as to what the best solution would be.
All our stories on Adria are here
STA, 26 September 2019 - The Slovenian tourism sector is scrambling to find alternatives after Adria Airways suspended operations, leading to hundreds of immediate cancellations and raising the prospect of significant long-term damage.
A meeting was held in Ljubljana Wednesday featuring hoteliers, shuttle operators, major convention venues, the Slovenian Tourist Board and the Economy Ministry.
"The goal was to find solutions in the given situation, with drastically reduced air access putting guest arrivals at risk and jeopardising even finalised business events," said Visit Ljubljana, the capital's tourism office.
Media reports suggest there have been dozens of cancellations daily in Ljubljana hotels since Adria grounded its flights on Tuesday.
Foreign guests account for over 95% of all hotel nights in Ljubljana, with roughly two-thirds coming to the city by air, according to Visit Ljubljana figures.
While many do come through airports in neighbouring countries, Ljubljana is the main entry point and Adria accounted for about half of all passengers there.
Ljubljana is also a major convention tourism destination and the lack of direct air links could hurt the sector. "In the first half of 2020 alone this could have a negative impact on three major international conventions with over a thousand participants each," Visit Ljubljana said.
Adria's woes could prove to be a boon for nearby airports in neighbouring countries, which expect passenger numbers to rise.
Zagreb Airport told the STA it expected the number of business guests to increase, while Trieste Airport said it had seen an uptick in the number of guests flying to Munich and Frankfurt.
Munich and Frankfurt were two of the most lucrative destinations for Adria.
Adria's grounding left roughly 3,700 passengers stranded on Tuesday and Wednesday, when 158 flights were cancelled.
Today and tomorrow almost 200 flights have been cancelled, affecting about 10,000 passengers.
All out stories in Adria are here
STA, 24 September 2019 - The 25th City of Women (Mesto Žensk), an international festival of contemporary arts, will kick off in Ljubljana on 1 October; however a series of events will take place as a prelude to the festival's opening, starting tonight (Monday, 24 September) with an exhibition Cheers to Women - 25 Years of Film and Video.
The exhibition launch will be held at Alkatraz Gallery in the Metelkova Mesto alternative arts centre, with the display focusing on creative endeavours of female film makers and video artists in Slovenia.
The feminist festival, running until 13 October, will be held under the slogan #HerStory, a pun referring to female, often forgotten or erased, history as well as female stories.
The events will take place at 18 venues and will include 160 participants, said the festival's programme director Teja Reba at today's press conference, highlighting that this year the festival will spread to Maribor and Zagreb as well.
"We're not talking about a special part of history which would only apply to women, but about a part of general history which is missing since mostly men's events were valued in the past," said Reba.
According to her, the time has come for "some feminist revisionism - a feminist re-interpretation of facts, events and traditions". The festival thus aims "to make visible all that has been overlooked, silenced and repressed".
The programme reminisces about the festival's past achievements, but also looks to the future by promoting up-and-coming female artists and art collectives as well as questions the existing forms of artistic expressions nowadays, said the organisers.
Highlights include a film marathon of Slovenian female film makers and video artists at the Slovenian Cinematheque as well as the opening performance of famous German theatre collective She She Pop, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary as well, at the Ljubljana Mladinsko Theatre (SMG).
The legendary duo, a recipient of this year's Theaterpreis Berlin, a prestigious German theatre prize, will put on Drawers, a performance about the German reunification process retold through the eyes of women from West and East Berlin.
Eva D. Bahovec, the festival's honorary president and professor at the Faculty of Arts, said that the University of Ljubljana, marking its centenary this year, and City of Women will hold a regional symposium on Simone de Beauvoir celebrating the 70th anniversary of her influential work The Second Sex.
The artist-in-residence of this year's festival is Alicja Rogalska, a Polish-British artist who has dedicated herself to exploring the issue of erased people, left without citizenship after Slovenia declared independence in 1991.
Her exhibition Kinds of Pressure at the Škuc Gallery will analyse the global labour conditions under capitalism and its dehumanising effect, but a discussion with the artist at the exhibition opening will also touch upon her research on the erased and how to talk about an identity that was taken away.
This year, City of Women was awarded the European Cultural Foundation's annual Princess Margriet Award for Culture. The prize, honouring the festival's achievement in supporting women in culture and its intersectional feminist approach, will be presented in Amsterdam on 2 October.
It’s always fun to read travel guides to places you know, to see what’s being sold as the real thing and how it compares to your experience. We thus turned with interest to the UK Independent’s recent article, “Maribor Guide: Where To Eat, Drink, Shop And Stay In Slovenia’s Second City”, by Pavlo Fedykovych.
The author touches on the inevitable (the World’s Oldest Vine and the Old Town), gives a very brief look at some cultural options, and then explores what to do in the surrounding environment. The bridge across the Drava is noted as architectural highlight. Turning to Maribor’s restaurant and bar scene, the newspaper presents Mak restaurant and Malca Minogrede among the former, and Piranha Cocktail Bureau and LUFT 360 among the latter.
You can see the full article, and other suggestions for how spend your time in Maribor, here.
Few things go together as well as grilled meat and beer, and fans of this choice combination will have much to enjoy this weekend in Ljubljana, with the 13th edition of the Pivo & Burger Fest coming to town on 14 and 15 September (2019). Run by the team behind Open Kitchen (Odprta kuhna) and happening in the same place, Pogačarjev trg, visitors will be able to enjoy more than 230 craft beers and dozens of stalls offering a great variety burgers and more, from some of the best known names on the scene and with vegetarian and vegan options available.
If you haven’t been following Slovenia’s flourishing craft beer market then you’re in for many surprises. While IPAs are still important, local brewers – from small scale operations like Omnivar, through to established favourites like Pelicon and relative giants like (the semi-Austrian) Bevog – are now exploring a wide range of techniques and flavours, with my own obsession being sours and personal favourite anything from Bevog’s fruity Lolita range. Pivo & Burger Fest is thus a great chance to catch up with such developments, as well as with friends, and a good start, middle or end point for a visit to Ljubljana.
Related: All our stories on craft beer are here
In addition to burgers – which will give the square a thrilling aroma – there will be a variety of foods that go well with beer, as well as desserts and various other delights, including the usual lively music that gives all Open Kitchen events an added party vibe.
Foreigners Speak Slovene enjoy a Pivo & Burger Fest in 2016 - read out interview with them here
On Saturday the event runs from 11:00 to 23:00, while on Sunday it’s 11:00 to 21:00, giving you the opportunity to enjoy brunch, lunch, dinner and supper, with perhaps a quick drink and a snack in between. While I wouldn’t recommend my lifestyle to anyone, as usual when Pivo & Burger Fest comes to town I aim to visit twice on both days, as much for the atmosphere as for the food and drink, with the diet and detox beginning Monday.
September 5, 2019
Every second Sunday in September, hikers from the three countries at the north-western triple border (Tromeja) of Slovenia, Italy and Austria, gather at the top of the 1508m high Peč hill above Rateče and celebrate life with goodwill, polka, food and stunning views.
This year the event has been postponed for a week due to the bad weather forecast. The 40th meeting at Tromeja will therefore take place on Sunday, September 15.
On the Slovenian side of the border the event begins at 08:00, when hikers gather in front of Šurc Guesthouse in Rateče from where they then hike to Tromeja, where food and drinks will be on offer from 09:00, music will be playing and a traditional meeting of mayors from all the three countries will take place. The programme will conclude at 17:00.
The event is organized by the Rateče - Planica, Podklošter and Trbiž Tourist Associations.
STA, 4 September 2019 - Slovenia is up five spots in the latest biannual global Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, standing at 36th place among the 140 countries surveyed by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek commented on the improvement by saying that Slovenia was on the right track in the field of tourism.
In the 2019 survey, Slovenia scored an average of 4.3 out of seven points based on assessments in 14 elements of competitiveness in four key categories - enabling environment, tourism policy and enabling conditions, infrastructure and natural and cultural resources; two years ago, it placed 41st among 136 countries, down two spots from the 2015 survey, scoring an average of 4.18 points.
Slovenia fared the best in environmental sustainability, placing 8th, while standing in 15th place in terms of security. In infrastructure of road and maritime transport, the country is 20th, in natural resources in 26th, in tourism infrastructure in 27th and in importance of tourism in 33rd place.
In the field of tourism policy and the state of conditions for development, Slovenia placed 18th, which the Slovenian Tourism Board (STO) mostly attributes to the growth in importance of tourism.
Minister Počivalšek said as he commented on the report, released on Monday, that it proved Slovenia was on the right track. "We have an adequate strategy, good tourist services and rich natural and cultural heritage, which facilitates a successful sustainable development of tourism," he was quoted as saying by the STO.
The minister is the most proud of the report noting that Slovenia "remains the most competitive economy in the subregion".
Spain, France and Germany remain on the top of the travel and tourism competitiveness rankings, followed by Japan, the US, the UK, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland.
The full report can be found here